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Mountains with Flame Azaleas (Photo by Nancy Vehrs)

Eupatorium at Bull Run (Photo by Brigitte Hartke)

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News & Updates

View the 2019 Wildflower of the Year: New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Learn more about Virginia’s Natural Area Preserves, designed to protect the best examples of Virginia’s natural communities and habitats for our rarest species of plants and animals.

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VNPS supports conservation of biologic “hot spots”, protects shrinking natural environments across the state and raises awareness and appreciation for our native plants.

This year our fundraiser supports updates to the Flora of Virginia, which will be available in the Flora App as soon as completed. You can be assured that your donations to VNPS go right to the heart of what we are about. Donate Now!

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Ceanothus americanus - VNPS 2019 Wildflower of the Year - Illustration by Betty Gatewood

2019 Wildflower of the Year: New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

By VNPS Communications | February 6, 2019

New Jersey Tea is a low shrub, generally less than 1 m tall and often profusely branched. Stems are finely hairy, but may become smooth with age. Vegetative stems are perennial, but flowering stems persist for just a single year. Leaves are mostly 5 to 10 cm long; leaf shape varies from narrowly to widely… [Read More]

New and “Resurrected” Endemic Plants of Virginia’s Shale Region

By VNPS Communications | January 2, 2019

Back in 2014, John Townsend, VNPS Director at Large and Staff Botanist for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, wrote about A Tale of Shale: Virginia’s New Violet describing unique plant populations in north central Virginia. In this new report, John provides an update on the Viola and the discovery of two new potential taxa… [Read More]

Virginia Sneezeweed (Helenicum virginicum) by Sally Anderson

VNPS Grows Two Virginia Natural Area Preserves

By VNPS Communications | October 30, 2018

Mount Joy Pond Natural Area Preserve Update: January 24, 2019. Several VNPS members visited our newly-acquired site and the adjacent DCR property. Check out the photo album on our Facebook page! We can’t wait to see what it looks like in the spring. The Virginia Native Plant Society has become a landowner! On October 23, 2018… [Read More]

Nancy Vehrs and Jim Waggener

VNPS Members Honored by Prince William Conservation Alliance

By VNPS Communications | September 30, 2018

The Prince William Conservation Alliance recently honored two long-time members of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Nancy Vehrs and Jim Waggener, for their service, contributions, and advocacy for conservation. The Alliance works to explore, enjoy and protect our natural areas, and increase community involvement in stewardship opportunities. Nancy Vehrs received the 2018 Heart of Gold Award…. [Read More]

If You Plant It, They Will Come

By VNPS Communications | September 18, 2018

“If you plant it they will come,” to paraphrase a line from the iconic Kevin Costner film, “Field of Dreams.” That was the hope of John Magee,  former Horticulture Chair of the Virginia Native Plant Society. John’s firm, Magee Design, partnered with Ashburn Village in Loudoun County in an effort to revitalize Tippecanoe Lake, one of 8… [Read More]

A Visit to The Cedars Natural Area Preserve Appreciation Days

By VNPS Communications | May 20, 2018

I’m back from far southwest Virginia, and I have to share.  The Virginia Native Plant Society contributed to purchasing land to join together some of the disparate tracts of The Cedars Natural Area. In appreciation, Rob Evans, Natural Areas Protection Manager, Virginia Natural Heritage Program in the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), organized a… [Read More]

New Book: Climate-Wise Landscaping, Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future

By VNPS Communications | April 15, 2018

Perfect! A book on climate-wise landscaping written by two authors who understand the vital role native plants must play in any future we can both envision and want to live in. What could be more important right now? We don’t want to sit around wringing our hands, say the authors; we want to DO something… [Read More]

A Path Into Natives

By VNPS Communications | April 8, 2018

My interest in native plants probably arose like it did for many of the VNPS readers. I fell in love with what I found out in the wild places; state parks and national forests and the scraps of nature on the edges of farms and developments. I was fascinated by the presence of those native… [Read More]

There Really is a Pyxie-moss!

By VNPS Communications | March 25, 2018

Pyxie-moss (Pyxidanthera barbulata) is a diminutive coastal plain endemic found only in the eastern portions of the Carolinas, southeastern Virginia, and the pine barrens of New Jersey and adjacent Long Island. It is adapted to frequent fire and minimizes heat damage by forming dense mats that hug the relatively cool ground. It prefers open, sandy… [Read More]

When the “Good Guys” Go Bad: The Role of Native Fauna in the Spread of Invasive Plants

By Caitlin Cyrus | March 4, 2018

Humans play a leading role in the spread of invasive species. From accidental introductions, like Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum), to intentional planting, like tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) and mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), we have done an exceptional job of transporting invaders all over the world. Our cars carry seeds and propagules along highways, our boats… [Read More]